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Epic!

Nov 1, 2012

Location: Dominica
Author: Laurie
I know that this gets said a lot on the Sea|Mester blogs, but I just can’t help it. today was the best day ever!!! After an early start we dinghied to shore to meet up with our guide- SeaCat, aka Octavias. SeaCat is a long term friend of Sea|Mester, an enigmatic tour guide with a wealth of knowledge. In his own words he is the prime minister of the island, he just hasn’t been elected yet. We jumped into SeaCats minibus and the amazing day began. We traveled to a fruit farm and began to pick as much grapefruit, oranges, guava, passion fruit, raspberries, lime and sugar cane as we could carry. Any signs of sleepiness were soon eliminated as SeaCat sliced open various fruits and passed them around, the sweet tanginess awaking everyone’s senses. My favorite was fresh tart lime juice squeezed over sugar cane, the sweet and sour was an amazing mix. Edouard was able to simply reach into the trees to pick the fruit, while the more vertically challenged of us had fun scampering up the trees instead. On the way to our next stop we took a detour along a road that is partially under construction to see a different area of Dominica. It was an adventure and as well as enjoying the amazing views and the bumpy ride, I enjoyed seeing the people of Dominica working and busy in their everyday lives away from the tourists. We then stopped at a Cassava bread bakery and saw the bakers at work and sampled the delicious food. Moving onwards we entered the Caribe Indian territory and stopped first to purchase handmade gifts and then at a house where a lovely old couple made us chocolate from cocoa beans, gave us fresh avocado and roasted breadfruit and showed us how to use a press to extract the sugar cane juice to mix with grapefruit in a delicious drink. It was a culinary delight for all and made extra special to see it all done using traditional methods and tools. At this point we were totally full and needed some exercise so the next stop was Emerald Falls, a beautiful waterfall at the end of a breathtaking walk through the rainforest. We splashed around, jumping in to the cool water and painting ourselves in the mud that is supposed to be good for your skin. On the walk back to the bus we stopped at a lookout point and proceeded to yell “I’m the Queen (or King) of the world!” at the top of our lungs. After all this activity, many students assumed that we would be heading back to the boat, but we had one more surprise in store Trafalgar Falls. These two falls, named Mama and Papa are the biggest waterfalls we’ve seen by far. We scrambled over the rocks to the base of Big Mama’ where it felt like being in a wind tunnel as the spray swept over us. We swam to the lower part and managed to get everyone into a crevice next to the base. Then some of the more adventurous climbed up to the higher part where the water was really crashing down and managed to stand behind the falls! It was the most incredible feeling, in the presence of such power of water. I managed to slip in a little science about surface tension too! The final part of the day was spent relaxing in the hot springs just down from the waterfalls, lying in the therapeutic water and reflecting on all of the event of the day and how much we love our lives. I think that the best way to some up how great today was the huge cheer that went up when I asked at dinner if everyone had a good day- it was deafening! Everyone will sleep well tonight with happy dreams of fresh fruit, huge waterfalls and hot springs. Goodnight!